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Belt and Road Initiative to revive Chinese Silk Road on Land and Sea

September 9, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Chinese President Xi Jinping seems upbeat about the ambitious One Belt One Road (OBOR) since 2013 or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) since 2016, which will connect China with Europe, creating an economic boom the world has never seen before. It will be a win-win situation for as many as 60 countries to join at the time, when the dominant world power of North America is fading away.

Actually, OBOR is nothing else than to revive the old trade routes called “Silk Road” on Land and Sea since ancient times, when Chinese silk was transported on different routes from China to India, Iran, Turkey and Italy. The earliest archaeological evidence shows that the Chinese had silk fabrics some 5,000 years ago and it seems that sericulture and the production of silk appeared in the Changjiang River Valley (Yangzi). Inscriptions on bones and tortoise shells of the Shang Dynasty (16th-11th centuries B.C.) bear the characters for silkworm, mulberry, and silk fabric. The Greeks called China “Seres” or the Land of Silk.

Officially, the caravan trail of the Silk Road was first opened by Zhang Qian of the Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-24 A.D.) and was an overland route of great importance that linked China with the Western Regions. Chang’an, today Xian, was then the capital from where the Silk Road started, ending at the Mediterranean Sea. It is on this kind of communication line that now the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of the Chinese President Xi Jinping is based upon including the Maritime Silk Road.

Seen from Beijing, the modern capital of China, there is the following route to follow:

  1. Xian, Lanzhou, Yumen, Hami, Ueruemqi, Almaty (Kasakhstan) to continue to Novosibirsk, Moscow, Poland, Germany, Rotterdam (The Netherlands)
  2. Xian, Lanzhou, Yumen, Lop Nor, Kashi, Samarkand (Uzbekistan) to continue to Teheran/Iran and Istanbul/Turkey
  3. Kashi to Karakorum Highway, Islamabad, Karachi and Gwadar (Indian Ocean)
  4. Xian, Chengtu, Kunming, Dali, Ruili, Muse, Lashio, Mandalay to continue to Manipur/India, Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Kolkata (India)
  5. Shanghai, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Wenzhou, Fuzhou, Quanzhou, Xiamen, Guangzhou, Hainan, Sihanoukville (Cambodia), Jakarta, Singapore, Strait of Malacca, Kuala Lumpur to continue to Colombo (Sri Lanka)
  6. Indian Ocean (Male/Maldives) to Djibouti, Mogadishu/Somalia, and Mombasa/Kenya
  7. Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Athens/Greece and Venice/Italy

Forget something? Kunming to Bangkok by train!

Written by : Reinhard Hohler

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